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Archive for December, 2015

Boys clothes can be so boring sometimes, basically just T-shirts and shorts for the most part. You can have a few types of tops (button downs, jerseys, polo tees), and you can have a few types of bottoms (berms, jeans) but it’s all basically the same thing. So I’m always on the lookout for interesting T-shirts for the boys in the hope of spicing things up a bit for them.

When I heard about the Tangram Tee by fabricate.sg I was immediately intrigued by the concept, and was keen to let the kids try the T-shirts.

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The Tangram Tee takes the classic tangram game and uses it to turn a plain T-shirt into a T-shirt with endless design possibilities. Tangrams are puzzles made up of seven shapes that you can combine in any way to make all kinds of shapes and patterns. There are over 6,500 patterns documented to date – that’s more than 17 years of unique T-shirt designs if you wore the Tangram Tee every day! Fabricate.sg also sells alphabet and number packs which make things even more fun. Not only can the kids customise the picture, they can add captions!

Each Tangram Tee comes with a set of tangram shapes and a starter guide for a few designs to try out

Each Tangram Tee comes with a set of tangram shapes and a starter guide for a few designs to try out.

The T-shirt is made of good quality cotton that has a nice weight to it, yet it’s not too thick. The front of the T-shirts have felt strips, and the tangram shapes are made of velcro on one side which sticks easily to the strips. As long as most of the shape is stuck to the strips they will stick on very securely. You really have to rip it off when changing a design. In fact, the shapes and alphabets stick so tightly to each other that it was quite challenging to look for alphabets because everything was stuck together. In the end I found an old piece of felt that came from a show Asher watched as a toddler. That lily pad was perfect for arranging all the alphabets, shapes and numbers and made it much easier for them to find the alphabets they needed.

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Numbers and the tangram shapes

Sorting out the alphabets

Sorting out the alphabets

We broke out the T-shirts for Children’s Day and the boys both independently decided they wanted to have dragon designs (they are really into the How to Train Your Dragon series now). Asher was very pleased to have a unique T-shirt with his favourite Monsterous Nightmare dragon and couldn’t wait to show his friends in school. Ellery too was happy to trot off to school with a dragon on his shirt. It was interesting to see that already in this example, they both came up with different styles of dragons even though they used the same seven shapes.

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The Tangram Tee is suitable for girls too of course, and Alyssa had a chance to put hers on when we went to watch Treasure Island (though it’s more like a dress for her at the moment :) ). The kids were again really happy to have their T-shirts follow the theme.

She was happy to stick the shapes around randomly

She was happy to stick the shapes around randomly

Siblings with Treasure Island themed tees

Siblings with Treasure Island themed tees

With Christmas just around the corner, I think they’ll be wanting to do a Christmas themed design too!

I can see the Tangram Tee being a very good travel companion. The kids can make designs on each other’s shirt while waiting for the plane or bus. It’s also great for when you want to dress the kids in matchy-matchy clothes. You can either match the designs exactly, or go for a theme to tie all their designs together!

It also makes a really good gift this Christmas! If you are like me and still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, why not get some Tangram Tees for the kids on your list? Each T-shirt is $29 and comes with a set of tangram shapes. The T-shirts come in four colours – white, pink, blue and yellow.

 

**Coupon Code**

If you are getting some Tangram Tees, use the coupon code “SECRET12” when shopping at fabricate.sg and you will be eligible for a free pack of Two Dozen Letters.

 

**Giveaway**

Fabricate.sg has also generously sponsored 3 sets of Tangram Tees to be given away to three readers. Besides the tangram shapes that comes with every Tangram Tee, fabricate.sg is throwing in a pack of alphabets (and numbers) too! Each of these sets is worth $37, and will be lots of fun for your kids!

To qualify for the giveaway, please do the following by 9pm on Christmas Day (25 Dec 2015). You’ll have your Tangram Tee in time for New Year’s Eve!

  1. Like the Fabricate Facebook page
  2. Leave your name, email, and a comment on this Facebook post with the design you will make on your Tangram Tee for New Year’s Eve and the caption that will accompany it.

Terms & Conditions: The winning entry will be selected at random from all qualifying entries. The winner will be announced in the comments section of the Facebook post, and will be contacted via email.  The winner will have 24 hours to respond, failing which another winner will be selected. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win. 

 

You can read other reviews of the Tangram Tee here:

 

Disclaimer: We were given three Tangram Tees and six alphabet packs to review. All opinions are my own.

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A couple of months ago I read on the internet about how some mums got their kids to choose their outfits for a week. They’d wear whatever the kids chose no matter how whacky. I was immediately taken by the idea and wanted to let the boys have a go at picking my outfits for the day. Just for fun. Just to see what they’d come up with! In the end I learned a thing or two about what they think looks nice on a girl.

I wasn’t so brave as to give each boy an entire week (just in case they went really nuts). Instead I had them take turns to choose my clothes. Initially they were really excited by the prospect, but they completely lost interest after day 6 haha! I should try this again with Alyssa when she’s older just to see what she comes up with, and if her interest is sustained. Maybe it’s a girl/boy thing.

In the end it wasn’t so bad. I psyched myself up to wear whatever they chose, but I didn’t have to be too worried. In fact, after this little exercise, it made me realise that I was sticking to the same old footwear and clothes. They helped me see I could ‘dress up’a bit more rather than just wear the standard stay-home-mum garb of t-shirts and shorts (well, that’s my usual attire anyway). There was only one outfit that Jon vetoed, and insisted on a tweak. Other than that, Jon just gave me weird looks because he was very skeptical about some of the combinations. I was just thankful they didn’t make we wear underwear on the outside or something strange like that!

So, what did they pick? Take a look below. Pictures were taken by the kids so it’s all a bit off.

Day 1 (Asher): T-shirt and jeans, with dangly owl earrings and red & white stripey shoes. A very sensible, practical choice of clothes I thought. I didn’t expect the shoes though. I hadn’t worn those in months!

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Day 2 (Ellery): Black & white skirt, green top (which has a low back, so Jon insisted Ellery add in a tank top), red & white stripey shoes. The boys sure liked those shoes! Ellery always says I look nice when I wear skirts, so I wasn’t surprised he picked a skirt out for me. He liked the green top very much, and he was against the idea of adding a tank top inside and needed quite a bit of coaxing. I would never have thought of this combination of clothes. It was surprisingly comfortable though. I’m generally not a skirt person as I have the impression they are more fussy and troublesome to wear on a day-to-day basis. But this mid-length skirt was actually ok for running around with the kids. Ellery’s choice made me realise that wearing skirts can be as comfortable as wearing shorts sometimes.

Day 3 (Asher): Floral chiffon top, denim shorts, skin-coloured shoes. Asher, it seems, makes very practical choices but with a twist. Whether it’s what he prefers a girl to wear, or it’s what he thinks best suits me I’m not sure. But it was a comfortable and practical outfit for the day.

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Day 4 (Ellery): Blue chiffon dress with a green top over it, and those red & white striped shoes. I totally would not have thought of this outfit. This was probably the strangest outfit of the lot. I had to tell myself to just wear it and not think too much about it. It turned out to be very comfortable because there was nothing cinching at the waist, even though it does look kinda frumpy. And whats up with those shoes??

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Day 5 (Asher): Black top with white bermudas, black & white houndstooth-print pointy-toed shoes. You are starting to see a pattern here right? Asher and practical clothing. I like hahaha. This is most like what I normally wear, except for the shoes. I hadn’t worn those in months too! I really should take them out more often.

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Day 6 (Ellery): And for the finale, a long deep navy blue halter dress. Yes, Ellery picked a skirt again. It felt quite strange wearing this dress when bringing them for their Saturday capoeria class (where everyone else is in shorts), but I was just happy with the thought that Ellery picked it. That, and he kept saying I looked pretty the whole day haha! Actually, he did that on all the days he picked my clothes :) That boy has a sweet tongue.

Anyway, it’s quite clear from their choices that Asher picks sensible clothes with a feminine touch, while Ellery tends towards the all out girly look. I wonder…I wonder if this will be reflected in their choice of girlfriend in future :) Hmmm….

Come to think of it, maybe Alyssa should dress Daddy instead, then I can see what kind of man she tends towards!

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Day 6: Alyssa and I (this was taken a couple of months back so she looks quite a bit younger)

Anyway it was fun, but I was quite happy to go back to wearing my usual stuff. I did consciously make some changes though. I wore my other shoes more often, tried to mix things up a little more with the clothes choices as well. I guess the boys helped me see that I’m really a bit too practical in my dressing, and I could spice things up a little bit :)

Have you tried something similar? What did your kids pick?

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The good folks at The Little Company have outdone themselves! What a treat it was to catch Treasure Island!

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Even though I was confident that the story alone would make this an interesting show, I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about the lead role of this classic tale being taken on by a female. And I was wondering how they were going to bring the audience onto the ship, the Hispaniola. But my concerns were unfounded and the show was superb!

The kids were very excited to go for Treasure Island and had re-read their Treasure Island book in anticipation of the show. Even Alyssa was familiar with the words ‘Treasure Island’ after I read to her A Shapes Primer: Treasure Island a few times. On the day itself they even dressed to the theme.

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Their Treasure Island inspired t-shirt designs on their Tangram Tees

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A spot of Tasty biscuit sword fighting during the interval

The kids were completely absorbed by the show, and there were many humourous parts sprinkled here and there to lighten the story. They were especially tickled by the O’Brien and how he described his abilities and why he should be brought along for the voyage. He was the character that provided the most laughs. Even after we went home they were singing his “I have hands, I am strong” song.

Dwayne Lau, Ann Lek and Mitchell Lagos in TLC's Treasure Island

(L to R) Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins and O’Brien

It’s hard to say which was the main highlight – the cast, the songs or the set, because they were all so good!

The cast featured familiar faces that we had seen in other performances, and I was happy to see them thrown together in this show. In fact, several of them were my favourite actors from separate productions, so this was really a high powered cast that was put together for Treasure Island. Together they made a great team and each played their characters (some of them taking on multiple roles) with such aplomb.

Tan Shou Chen, Ann Lek and Erwin Shah Ismail in TLC's Treasure Island

Treasure!

The songs were fabulous! How else can I describe this? You really got to listen for yourself. “Life on the Sea” was beautifully arranged, and there was the wonderful number “The Coconuts and Me” by Ben Gunn (played by Kimberly Chan). I would consider purchasing a copy of the CD if there was one on sale!

I loved the sets too, especially the ship. You really felt like you were on board the ship with them. At one point one of the characters threw something overboard, and I expected to hear a splash! That’s how well they brought you into the story! From the Admiral Benbow Inn, to the ship, to an island filled with coconut trees, the sets were all very well done.

Dwayne Lau, Mitchell Lagos, Ann Lek, Erwin Shah Ismail, Tan Shou Chen and Kimberly Chan in TLC's Treasure Island

Just look at that gorgeous set! And the lovely costumes!

The show ends on a positive note with the power of friendship to make things family friendly, and it was good for the kids to see how someone can turn over a new leaf. It ends on a high, and you leave feeling extremely satisfied.

Erwin Shah Ismail. Kimberly Chan, Dwayne Lau, Ann Lek, Mitchell Lagos and Tan Shou Chen in TLC's Treasure Island

Enemies turned friends

There are only a few days left (the show ends its run on 13 Dec), and if you haven’t already caught the show, I highly highly recommend it. It is probably my favourite show by The Little Company so far!

Tickets are available through the SISTIC website and the SISTIC hotline (63485555).

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Disclaimer: We were given 4 complementary tickets to watch the show, but all opinions are my own. 

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